If you’re not helping, you’re wasting your time
Since finishing his studies in occupational therapy in 2017 in Bethlehem, Ziad Himone has been working everywhere to gain expertise: in nursing homes, home visits, and hospitals.
By working and learning in different types of clinical situations, Ziad hopes to gain a broader picture of the field so he can better assist his patients.
That’s why he jumped at the opportunity to work three days a week at Assuta Ashdod even though it’s over an hour commute from his home in Jerusalem. At Assuta Ashdod, Ziad has the opportunity to work in different departments including orthopedics, neurology, general surgery, and internal medicine.
“I’m needed (and I go!) whenever a patient has experienced a decline in quality of living as a result of deterioration in cognitive or motor abilities.”
He met Ali at Assuta Ashdod.
Thirty-six-year-old Abdallah (“Ali”) fell while standing in the bathtub and suffered a serious stroke as a result. A Sudanese refugee, alone in Israel, Ali found himself at Assuta Ashdod and embarked on the lengthy recovery process facing him. He looked for strength.
Shortly into his eight-month hospitalization, Ali began working with Ziad.
“We started working with Ali in his hospital room every day to help him improve his daily functioning and regain his independence.” Ziad helped Ali accomplish basic activities like getting out of bed, eating, washing his hands and face, dressing himself and drinking water.
But Ali did not see the light of day for several months. When he finally left his room “to see the sun,” he started to talk about himself and his new challenges.
“That was the most emotional part for me,” Ziad remembers. “He couldn’t walk well, and he had limited functioning in his hand. But he understood the gravity of his situation and his needs.”
Ali came to Israel from Sudan to work, but because of the stroke, he was unable to even provide for himself, much less his wife and daughter, who were in England. “When I saw how lonely Ali was, I knew I had to do something,” said Ziad.
“So I took him outside every day for a much-needed change of scenery, fresh air and relaxation. As it turned out, Ali was part of the construction team that built Assuta Ashdod, so he knew every nook and cranny. He taught me more than a few things, since he was familiar not only with the buildings, but also the grounds inside and out.”
Ziad continued, “I felt positive, even though Ali’s situation was challenging because I knew I was helping. Over time, I realized that Ali was not just my patient. He became my friend.”
This therapeutic friendship developed in part because Ziad and Ali were able to converse in Ali’s mother tongue, Arabic. Born in Jerusalem, Ziad speaks fluent Arabic, Hebrew and English.
For Ali, and for all of his patients, Ziad invests his time, patience, knowledge, and often friendship to help reach treatment goals.
“At Assuta Ashdod, we add our hearts and souls to our professional knowledge, and all opinions and all investments are appreciated,” says Ziad. “It creates a wonderful combination of productivity and innovation, and empowers us to be fully human - both the staff and the patients.
While Ali moved forward from Assuta Ashdod to a rehabilitation facility, Ziad continues to treat his other patients, determined to empower them and motivate them to work hard and progress because, according to Ziad, “If you’re not helping people, you’re wasting your time.”